“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”— Philippians 2:8
Jesus manifested His greatness by taking steps down. While the rest of the world is intent on climbing up—up the corporate ladder, up to a better neighborhood, up to higher education, higher office—Jesus stepped down for us.
He was God, equal with God, and He deliberately emptied Himself and came to earth as a humble servant. Jesus stepped down from glory to the cruel Roman cross. Despised and rejected by mankind, He hung for our sins before an angry, jeering mob.
That’s a big step down, from the highest height to the lowest, most humiliating death known to the world at that time, death upon the cross.
Stepping down is hard. It’s a challenge to give up something you’ve worked hard to attain or to let go of a position you know isn’t right for you. It’s equally hard to volunteer for a job that seems beneath your level of education or competence. But if you sense the Holy Spirit nudging you to let it go—to humble yourself and let go of the ego or the need to be in charge so you can step down and serve others— remember what Jesus did for us. And through obedience, you will also know great joy.
“There is, therefore, something in humility which, strangely enough, exalts the heart.”—St. Augustine 1
1. Augustine, City of God, book XIV, ch. 13.